Assessment of Usage of Personal Protective Equipment and Related Factors among Workers in Wood Workshops in Mutungo Parish, Nakawa Division, Kampala District


Were Jackson* and Aloysius Ssennyonj

Introduction: Workers across industries are exposed to a variety of hazards at the workplace. The use of PPE is an important strategy of preventing exposure to hazards that could result in injuries and illnesses among workers, including those in wood workshops. Despite the widely acknowledged benefits of PPE use, studies have shown that PPE use remains low, inconsistent and inappropriate.

Objective: This study sought to assess the extent and reasons for utilization of PPE among workers in wood workshops in Mutungo Parish, Kampala District. 

Methods: The study used both qualitative and quantitative techniques in data collection. The sample size was 139 respondents in 11 wood workshops constituting of 5 in-depth interviews. Quantitative data was entered using epi-data 3.02 and then cleaned and univariate analysis done using STATA 13.0 while qualitative data was analyzed thematically. 

Major findings: Despite all participants being aware of PPE, only 57.55% possessed at least one. 73.38% of respondents in the study had been victims of occupational hazards associated with wood workshop activities, the commonest injuries reported as cuts and hits. 62.5% of the workers had only one PPE, 35% had two and only 2.5% had at most three PPE while at work. The most possessed PPE was a dust mask, which was provided by the employer. In general, PPE utilization among the workers was found to be sub-optimal. Study findings showed that reasons for failure to utilize PPE included; unavailability due to cost implications, interference of the PPE with speed of work and comfort issues. 

Conclusion and recommendation: The study therefore recommends that quality and affordable PPE should be availed in the market and, safety and health awareness and education programs be extended to workers in the informal wood workshops so as to sensitize the workers on how they can ensure their own safety during work.